Title ~ Johnnie (Siphon Book 1)
Author ~ Cardeno C
Publisher ~ The Romance Author
Published ~ 11th March 2015
Genre ~ M/M Paranormal Shifter Romance
A Premier lion shifter, Hugh Landry dedicates his life to leading the Berk pride with strength and confidence. Hundreds of people depend on Hugh for safety, success, and happiness. And at over a century old, with more power than can be contained in one body, Hugh relies on a Siphon lion shifter to carry his excess force.
When the Siphon endangers himself and therefore the pride, Hugh must pay attention to the man who has been his silent shadow for a decade. What he learns surprises him, but what he feels astounds him even more.
Two lions, each born to serve, rely on one another to survive. After years by each other’s side, they’ll finally realize the depth of their potential, the joy in their passion, and a connection their kind has never known.
If you’re a fan already then you'll not be surprised to find that once again this feline shifter story delivers on the sweet and sexy front. And you'll notice I said feline, because this time we've got big cat shifters, lead by Hugh Landry: their gorgeous, black in both his human and cat shape, 7 foot..300 pound leader or Premier…the lion equivalent of an Alpha.
Premiers are special. Stronger and able to live much longer, they possess a power that grows as they age to a point where it can't be safely held within themselves, so a 'Siphon' is needed as a receptacle to help contain the power overflow. Siphons themselves are a rarity and Hugh has only had his for a decade, since a smaller, weaker pride of lions gave him as payment for taking them into Hugh’s thriving lion community.
There’s a downside though. If the Siphon dies, the overload of power is fatal to the Premier, so they need to be in close proximity of each other at all times. Something that is brought home to Hugh and his lions when at the beginning of the book he has a near death experience brought on by his Siphon's emotional crisis.
For the ten years he's been with Hugh, Siphon has been woefully neglected and taken for granted. Not only by his Premier but by the rest of the pride too, to the point where he's simply become an asset that helps to keep the pride running smoothly...but an invisible one. When the near disaster is averted, it's a wake up call for Hugh and a chance to put things right for the undervalued and disheartened young shifter who he realises has never even been given a name...he's just always been 'Siphon'!
The first thing he does is name him Johnnie, which straight away makes the conflicted lion feel less of a nobody and more of a person in his own right. He's a complete innocent, in a way almost childlike; with quirks that when Hugh finally starts to "see" him, show that not only is he important to his Premier in terms of keeping him stable and steadfast as a leader, but is also unique because he has gifts of his own that are beneficial to the pride as a whole. Johnnie is a very special person, with a lot more to give if only they would give him a chance.
This is such a sweet story, made all the more so by Johnnie himself. I defy anyone not to be drawn to him because of his sad start in life and struggle to find himself outside of his usefulness to his peers. I think he's probably one of Cardeno's most engaging, adorable characters and I loved watching him blossom from just an insignificant pride resource, into a person with a true sense of self and purpose in his own right, as he worked his magic on Hugh. I adored Johnnie.
Hugh didn't work his magic on me quite as much, so I didn’t feel as close to him as I usually do to Cardeno's MC's, probably because of his initial actions, but by the end he did end up endearing himself to me more. Ultimately though, my heart always belonged to Johnnie.
He isn't a bad guy; it's just the dynamics of the pride and the world they live in, that make him the way he is. He's a great leader who installs confidence and a feeling of safety among his lions, but relationships work differently in this shifter world. The love of family is strong but lifelong romantic pairings are not pride culture. These guys get down and dirty whenever and, regardless of sexual identity, with whoever they want. To these lions, sex is as natural as eating and sleeping, but mating for life with one specific partner is not on the cards for these shifters; not like it is for Wolves, so it’s as much a learning curve for Hugh as his feelings grow for Johnnie, and he learns the meaning of true love. It turns out to be just as life changing an event for him as his adorable Siphon.
There's a sub plot running in the background about a shifter trying to usurp Hugh as leader, using Johnnies Siphon abilities to take him down, but to be honest I didn't get drawn into that part of the book as much as I did the love story. That took centre stage for me. Like always the sex was deliciously hot and steamy, yet still sweet (CC does that SO well) and the ending was satisfyngly sigh worthy.
When it comes to this style of lighter, feel good romance, Cardeno C never fails to make me feel all warm and fuzzy so I’m definitely ready for the next tale in this new shifter series.
What can I say...I'm a pussy cat girl and CC is my cat nip!
Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.
Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.
Cardeno is gifting one lucky reader an ebook copy of Johnnie, just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. GOOD LUCK!